One of the simplest ways an emerging or a small and mid-size enterprise in hotel or hospitality sector can scale growth is by adopting relevant cloud or software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that will help it stay competitive and relevant.
Over the last 20 years, the hotel industry has witnessed two waves of technology disruption, first, was when online travel agencies OTAs like MakeMyTrip and Yatra and metasearch engines like Ixigo entered the market, and second when budget hotel aggregators like OYO entered in 2015. The growth for these platforms has come on the back of offering better discovery, faster booking experience, better guest satisfaction and efficient operations through technology compared to conventional booking channels. One of the simplest ways an emerging or a small and mid-size enterprise in hotel or hospitality sector can scale growth is by adopting relevant cloud or software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that will help it stay competitive and relevant. Here are 5 reasons why small and mid-sized hotels should be investing in the cloud.
Small hotels may have limited reach, but cloud platforms could allow them to sell room inventory worldwide without much effort. “Technology platforms allow for greater reach that is not otherwise possible. Increased reach leads to more revenue, and allows you to be accessible to guests from around the world,” Pranjal Prashar, Co-founder and CEO, Xperium told Financial Express Online. Modern revenue management software can often do the work of revenue managers, and help in distributing inventory along with suggesting the best prices based on the market and other demand factors.
Since hotels are largely dependent on OTAs and other sales partners to drive bookings and revenue, having the right cloud platform, small hotels can begin to own their guests and reduce dependence on third-party booking sites. With deep guest data, hotels can drive direct marketing that can increase direct bookings. Since OTA bookings come at the cost of hefty sales commissions, such hotels “need to focus on retaining guests and getting them to book directly rather than through another medium,” said Prashar. Xperium is an AI-enabled CRM and guest engagement cloud focusing on the hospitality sector.
With the introduction of cloud-based software, hotels can reduce the burden on staff, and also minimize human error. Further, these plug-and-play platforms allow them to deliver personalized experiences that guests find at larger brand hotels. From managing the front desk to accounting and payroll, cloud solutions are affordable without any additional investment in hardware. Such technologies allow new entities in the hospitality segment to identify and understand guests’ needs and based on this information, hotels can raise guest satisfaction. In short, cloud-based property management solutions give SME hotels an opportunity to manage operations like bigger hotels and brands without spending on complex on-premise technology.
Revenue from Ancillary Experiences
Hotels can leverage technology to maximise revenue from ancillary and other third party experiences through smart automation such as airport pickups, excursions, spa services. Such experiences are revenue opportunities for a hotel. These opportunities need to be leveraged, because if hotels don’t leverage them, then OTAs definitely will. “The good news is that cloud-based products offered as Software as a service (SaaS) are generally inexpensive and are available to small hoteliers across the globe,” said Prashar.
Identify Trends, Guest Behaviour
Analytics offered by a cloud solution allows hotels to identify micro market trends and key opportunities during peak season. Among other functionalities, this allows the property to track guests’ behaviour that helps them gain insight into their purchase behaviour. Another reason analytics is highly important to SME hotels is it helps you understand competition, how they are faring, and where they lack, so you can create better guest experiences.